IDL 2019 Image Contest Winners

Thank you to all the entrants in our International Day of Light 2019 Image Contest. All the submitted entries can be viewed here. The winners were as follows:

1st: Adolfo De Sanctis – Fiat Lux


“Let there be light: and there was light” [Genesis 1:3]. In 1879 Thomas Alva Edison demonstrates the first working modern light bulb. Since then the design has not changed much until the invention of the light-emitting diode. In this composite image I wanted to de-construct a working light bulb to honour one of the greatest inventions of all times. Electrical lighting enabled the industrial revolution and the development of society. On the other hand, light pollution is destroying the night sky and energy production is polluting the planet. It is now time for a new, green, revolution.


2nd:Danielle Owens – Sunset at the Lighthouse


The image portrays the stability of lighthouses which provide continual light despite the cyclical shift in tide and weather. The image emphasises the shelter constant man-made light provides against the looming darkness.


3rd: Charlotte Parry – Crystalline Conversion


This image features a lithium niobate crystal, which has interesting optical properties, and is the centrepiece of my current work in quantum optics. It is being used to convert light energy between wavelengths, from red in the visible spectrum to the infra-red spectrum that is invisible to the naked eye (and this camera). This could become an important component in the field of quantum communications which could provide a more secure means of communication throughout the world. The laser light reflects off imperfections in the crystal to make it seem as though the whole crystal is glowing in its mount.



IDL 2019 Poster Competition Winners

Thank you to all the entrants in our International Day of Light 2019 Poster Competition. All the entries submitted can be viewed here. The winners were as follows:

1st: Anna Laws – Star Dust: Hints of Forming Planets


2nd: Hannah Barnard – A ‘Magnifying Glass to Look at Proteins from Inside the Body


3rd: Michelle Bailey – Brillouin microscopy to non-invasively measure the mechanical properties of tissues


Honourable mentions: Lauren Barr – THz Single Pixel Imaging; Ellis Ley – Retrofitting Vintage Photographic Optics; Charlotte Parry – Frequency Conversion for Long Distance Quantum Communications.


Talk by Dr. Carlos Lopez-Mariscal on Underwater Photonics

Dr. Carlos Lopez-Mariscal is founder and lead scientist of Underwater Photonics, and also an OSA ambassador.

You can watch a short commentary by Dr Lopez-Mariscal here:

Dr. Lopez-Mariscal will give two lectures on Friday 22nd March 2019:

11:30 – 12:30: How to land a job in industry

13:30 – 14:30: Skills for professional life

This event will be held in the LSI building, seminar room B.

Special thanks to The Optical Society for making this event possible.

Is it possible to paint music?

EUOPS invited the architect and designer Graham Cooper to the University of Exeter, to have a discussion with EUOPS members and to discover whether it’s possible to represent musical harmony on oil paints. Graham is author of a number of books, and two of them are focused on his self-conducted research on colour theory related to music theory.

Graham’s work comprises “a sequence of piano chord combinations that is transfigured into a suite of colour representations or “polychromatic chords”. Each tone on the keyboard is assigned a particular hue on the colour wheel, and each chord is charted in various painted configurations. A series of sequentially arranged abstract canvases are derived from the basic triad chord animations. This is a reciprocal process in which the various colour compositions may correspond to specific chords in musical scores.”

After an interesting meeting we agreed that even when music and colours belong to different fundamental fields of the universe, which means that there is no physical relationship between the both, the final product of Graham paints is marvellous.

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EUOPS social activity report

On Saturday 3rd of November EUOPS headed to Dartmouth for an 8 km walk by the south west coast path. Beautiful landscapes were everywhere around us during the long walk. We definitely couldn’t ask for more, it was just so much fun!


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EUOPS delivered workshop on communicating science

On october 30th, EUOPS delivered the PGRs workshop Communicating Science for the General Public at the University of Exeter. Around fifty PG students attended and learnt from Professor Bill Barnes and Dr. Simon Clark how to effectively communicate science on written media and on social media.

Professor Bill Barnes is an optics and photonics researcher, who has more than 30 years of expercience in this field and is author of a large number of scientific publications. In his talk, he highlighted the importance of chosing the correct words in communicating science to effectively deliver a message to the readers.

Dr. Simon Clark, recently graduated from the University of Exeter, is a science communicator and founder of Dr. Simon is an expert on atmospheric physics and has produced and delivered a number of descriptive and inspirational videos on different scientific topics on his youtube channel /SimonOxfPhys. In his talk he described the steps to produce high quality videos, and gave tips to be succesful in reaching the audience.

EUOPS would like to thank The Optical Society and the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Metamaterials XM2 for their support with this event.

EUOPS would also like to thank Julia de Pineda Gutierrez and Henry Fernandez for the organisation of this event.

Photos of the event:

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EUOPS at the Sidmouth Science Festival 2018

On Saturday 13th of October, EUOPS members traveled to Sidmouth to participate in the Sidmouth Science Festival in its 2018 version.

The theme of the festival is “Science in our lives”, to reflect how important Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) are to everything we do nowadays. Sidmouth Science Festival aims to promote curiosity in the young, to inspire them to consider a STEM career in a rapidly changing employment market, in addition to encouraging self-confessed nonscientists to engage with science in fun ways, including art, drama and music and hands-on activities. The festival also provide talks by experts in their fields for those looking for something more technically challenging. Link to the website.

EUOPS participated with hands-on demonstrations for the curious people of Sidmouth and cities nearby. We did demos on how colours are mixed in light as well as in paints, we player Laser Chess, which is a very funny game with light and mirrors, we also demonstrated the Young’s double slit experiment with waves on water, to explain how waves are able to interfere with themselves, and we also did demos on how light travels inside of lenses.

We really enjoyed the day at Sidmouth and we are very looking forward to participating in this festival next year.

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